Although this may be the “most wonderful time of the year”, for workers it can be a nightmare, especially if safety begins to take a back seat to festive cheer.
WorkSafe Victoria has issued a reminder to both workers and employers to stay focused on safety in the lead up to Christmas and New Years.
According to statistics from WorkSafe Victoria, the 2 month period between November and December account for 22.3 per cent of all workplace fatalities.
During the 2008 to 2017 period in the state, 53 people were killed in workplace incidents.
WorkSafe Executive Director of Health and Safety Julie Nielsen reminded workers not to let busy workloads and tight deadlines to tempt them to cut corners when it comes to safety.
She said this time of year workers and employers should being slowing down and not rushing to get things done because in no circumstance is getting a job finished more important than coming home safely at the end of the day..
WorkSafe said last November and December 5 tragic incidents occurred on worksites in the state which changed the lives of 5 families forever.
A 27-year-old man who died after being stung by bees while working in a garden at Dunkeld.
A 72-year-old man who died when the rough terrain utility vehicle he was driving tipped over on a property at Bonnie Doon.
A 76-year-old-man who died in hospital from burns caused by a fire in a shed at a property near Rokewood.
A 59-year-old man who was crushed while loading heavy machinery into a shipping container at a former dairy processing plant at Leitchville.
A 49-year-old man who was crushed by a bull while drafting livestock at a cattle property at Dunkeld.Source: http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/11/victorian-workplaces-reminded-stay-safe-lead-festive-season/#.W_uY9uIlE1k
Ms. Nielsen went on to state that these tragedies proved the importance of prioritising safety in the lead-up to Christmas so that they actually see Christmas. These incidents left many families mourning at a time when they should be celebrating.
“The grain and hay harvests have arrived on farms, the construction industry will be trying to finish projects before the Christmas shutdown, and the transport and warehouse sectors will have the Christmas rush to contend with, so it is a busy time of year for many workers.
“We urge employers to make sure busy deadlines don’t compromise safety, and we ask every worker to think about the job at hand.
“We want everyone to have a happy Christmas, and not be mourning the loss of a loved one, or dealing with a workplace injury.”